I thought that I might stop the running diary: it has a very patchy readership – although that, in itself, is not unusual. Day by day, post by post, the (lack of) quality within my blog remains more or less constant, yet the readership goes up and down in a manner that I just cannot fathom. There have been occasions when I have published a post only because I have nothing else. It has often been a toss-up as to whether to go for ‘no post’ or something I feel to be substandard. I always go for ‘substandard’ – it’s been many years since I have felt comfortable in falling back on ‘My homework is in the dog’ – so I use what I have got, and therein lies my problem. The posts that I do not believe to be good enough often get lots of reads and lots of likes and I am always left wondering why? Perhaps I should write badly all the time. (Oh come on now. That’s below the belt!) Nobody who writes is ever fully content with what they have written, but I have from time to time published a post that I have been largely happy with and often, those are the posts that go down the toilet quickest. I clearly do not write for me.
Not being my own audience is my biggest problem.
I have realised that the more I ‘polish’ a post, the less it is liked. I use my own voice most of the time now and that seems to work the best. (I wonder what I sound like to you? I can hear me. I sound like a camp history teacher. Is that how you hear me? Hearing myself on audio or video playback makes me cringe and laugh at the same time – unfortunately, normally in the wrong order. It’s hard to know what you sound like to other people, isn’t it? It’s like colour. We both know that grass is green, but do we both see the same colour? Is my green red and your green blue? My brother is colour-blind and I really struggle to understand it. If he really can’t tell the difference between blue and green, why doesn’t he keep falling off cliffs?) I wrote a series of ten-minute monologues a little while ago about a fictional village which were perfect for podcast so, to see how they sounded, I recorded a couple. Oh dear. Imagine Alan Bennett’s more monotone sister. I cannot believe the sound that comes out of my mouth. It’s the aural equivalent of watching wallpaper being stripped. It’s like chillies in honey – whatever you are looking for, it is all there, just definitely not like you want it.
I know, also, that with blogging there is a knack to getting the title right. Asking questions is apparently a sure way to get readers. My whole life is a question. I do not need readers, I need answers. Perhaps if I just add a question mark to the end of each title my readership might go up (it can’t go down). There must be a way of fashioning Categories and Tags to pull people in. I should learn it, but… I enjoy the writing. I would like to have more readers – my wife finds it hard to understand why I devote so much time to writing this drivel for the weekly consumption of ten regular readers and four hundred algorithms. It’s just what I do. It is what keeps me sane. Wibble.
This morning I received bad news upon bad news and then I went for a run. I realised that running is now also what I do to keep myself sane. This running diary should, by my own ‘rules’ stop with the end of ‘Lockdown’, and I fear that it might, like Only Fools and Horses, perhaps run on just a little too long if I’m not careful. For now, as I continue to run even as Lockdown measures begin to ease (no turning back – you heard Boris say so) the running diary will continue, but it will have less to do with running than what is rattling around inside my head as I run, and when that little voice ceases prattling on, then the diary won’t be all that stops…
Today’s thought of the day: Colin’s First Rule of Decorating – the brush you need is always the brush you don’t have.
The Return of the Running Track of the Day: Jimmy Hendrix – Red House.